Ipswich: Hospital reels from new blow

IPSWICH: Another vital health service looks set to be lost from Ipswich Hospital, it can be revealed today.

The Heath Road site’s major vascular surgery service – which involves the treatment of diseases associated with arteries and veins – looks set to be transferred to Colchester Hospital.

All vascular treatments in Suffolk and North Essex are currently split between Ipswich Hospital and Colchester General Hospital, with staff working on a joint rota.

In line with national guidelines, both hospitals have signed up to a process that will result in a single site for major arterial surgery, meaning the treatments would be controlled from either Ipswich or Colchester.

A review over the decision was carried out recently by Professor Michael Gough.

However, Mr Gough, a professor of vascular surgery in Leeds and a former president of the Vascular Society, has recommended that the site be established in Colchester.

The final decision will not be taken until after a consultation of all interested parties, including the public, in the spring.

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Jan Rowsell, Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said: “An independent external evaluation (commissioned by Ipswich and Colchester Hospital) into an application to be a centre for major arterial surgery has been under way recently.

“Professor Gough has recommended that Colchester would be the preferred centre. There is much work to be done, not least a public consultation.”

Once established, the centre will be for major arterial surgery only, which is a small percentage of vascular surgery.

On average, 100 of this limited range of operations, which include aortic aneurysm repair, are carried out a year at Ipswich and 130 at Colchester.

n What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstar letters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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